A good staff experience comes from trust, opportunities and listening with interest
A good staff experience is hard to put on paper as numbers, as it is the sum of many small factors. One of the hallmarks of a good staff experience is that coming to work is pleasant. Investing in staff experience is also an investment in the company’s financial wellbeing.
In a specialist company such as Realia Management, human resources management and staff experience are emphasised. We do not own equipment, machinery or real estate, but instead work with customer and employment contracts. Without staff, therefore, there is no business.
Business activities often focus on customer experience and improving it. We know that a good customer experience is based on a quality staff experience. If staff are not taken care of, this will be reflected in dealings with customers, and financial targets will also fail to be met as work efficiency suffers and the amount of sick leave increases. The good news is that wellbeing is equally visible outwardly and brings positive customer experiences and growth, as well as attracting more skilled workers to the company.
It is also worth investing in staff wellbeing and their enthusiasm for their work, because leaving a great job is not easy. Staff turnover quickly eats away at the efficiency and quality of work, and it is also hard on team members. When employees stay with the company, we can continuously develop together, and financial successes are also possible.
Expert work is sometimes lonely. Peer support from the work community and colleagues is extremely important.
Realia Management supports experimentation and development
Healthy work communities have a climate of trust, where people are understanding if things do not always go well. A fear of making mistakes is paralysing, and so employees must be able to rely on the supervisor to provide support rather than looking for someone to blame. It is in the interests of the whole company to have the courage to experiment and introduce new ideas at work. It is at least as important to celebrate successes and show appreciation for good performances.
There are no quick ways to create trust; supervisors just have to be there for the employees. I myself try to avoid unnecessary hierarchies and aim to ensure that work is done as a team for a common goal. On the other hand, different people value different management methods, which is why I want to get to know my employees properly. A good staff experience includes a supervisor knowing their team and knowing what the team members want and need.
Listening carefully to employees through a transformation programme
Realia Management wants to be a pioneer in its field, and this demands work. At the moment, one-third of our personnel are actively involved in a transformation programme to make working smoother throughout the organisation. It has been great to see what kind of ideas the staff have and their enthusiasm for development.
In the area of personnel experience, we develop things such as wellbeing at work, orientation, training offerings, rewards, and developing career paths. We have created a handbook for supervisory work that makes good management practices an even more integral part of the everyday work of supervisors. We know that supervisors’ work is of great importance for the satisfaction of all staff, which is why we want to invest in it even more.
One concrete way to show appreciation for staff is to ensure that they can develop their skills, and to develop training and career paths in-house. Going upwards in the organisation may not be the best direction for everyone, and so lateral movement and adapting work to a person's life situation must also be made possible. We are currently building the Realia Academy, which will have training packages that support the transition to new positions and the development of professional skills.
We want to do the right things in the right way, which is why we are seeking feedback on the plans at every stage of the project. The baseline was mapped out through surveys and interviews, and staff have been allowed to comment on all measures. The impact will be monitored with a pulse meter – if the pulse does not move, we will have to make changes. In the future, we will be able to listen even more carefully to gain a sense of how our staff are doing.
Heidi Joutsenkunnas is responsible for Realia Management's property management services in rental housing. The staff experience is close to Heidi’s heart. She is adamant that contented employees are the essential starting point for business.